Philosophers telling Doctors what they must do

A group of philosophers and bioethicists had a nice junket in Switzerland where they decided on some ethical guidelines for doctors to follow. The august gathering included someone from Otago University.

A couple of interesting aspects:

Healthcare practitioners who wish to conscientiously object to providing medical treatment should be required to explain the rationale for their decision.

Sounds like a board of inquisition.

The status quo regarding conscientious objection in healthcare in the UK and several other modern Western countries is indefensible. Healthcare practitioners can conscientiously refuse access to legally available, societally accepted, medically indicated and safe services requested by patients in practice for any reason. This is in part due to the cost-free environment in which practitioner choice of service occurs, and in which the practitioner bears no substantive burden of proof. The burden of proof to demonstrate the reasonability and the sincerity of the objection should be on the healthcare practitioners.

So a Catholic doctor against abortion shouldn’t be allowed to decline to do abortions, just because of their beliefs.

Accordingly, in such countries, the reasons healthcare practitioners offer for their conscientious objection could be assessed by tribunals, which could test the sincerity, strength and the reasonability of healthcare practitioners’ moral objections to certain medical services.

God, it is like the Spanish Inquisition.

Healthcare practitioners who are exempted from performing certain medical procedures on conscientious grounds should be required to compensate society and the health system for their failure to fulfil their professional obligations by providing public-benefitting services.

What terrible arrogant language. Require practitioners to compensate society because they may not wish to do abortions, or take part in euthanasia.

I’m 100% pro-choice and pro-euthanasia, but do not think any healthcare practitioner should be forced to provide a treatment against their conscience, let alone have to justify themselves to a tribunal and do penance to compensate society.

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